Did 'Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler' work in death camps?

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Did 'Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler' work in death camps?

Post by NMcK » 10 May 2002 10:22


I have come across a film (fictional) concerning the Holocaust in which officers of the 'Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH)' are depicted working in concetration camps.

Having tried to find further information on this matter, I appear to have drawn a blank. From what I have found, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) were not seconded to cencentration camp duty at any time.

Can I therefore draw on the knowledge of users here to establish whether this is indeed the case, or whether I have got this completely wrong?



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Post by Raf » 14 May 2002 15:13

Far as I know the SS personnel in the camps were seperate units who were trained for the job. LSSAH was in the beginning the personal guard unit for Hitler and later became a part of the waffen SS and had nothing to do with duty in the camps. Those films are sometimes or mostly not historical right.

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Post by daredevil » 17 Oct 2003 22:11

on the book " auschwitz.nazi death camp " it is said that members of the lssah and nord division served in auschwitz . auschwitz staff changed through the war,at hthe beginning members of the totenkofverbande,in the middle of the war there were an upsurge of volkdeutches.and in the end,an upsurge of menbers of waffen-ss , mainly lssah and nord .

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Post by michael mills » 18 Oct 2003 05:33

I have come across a film (fictional) concerning the Holocaust in which officers of the 'Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH)' are depicted working in concetration camps.
It all depends on what is meant by "working in the camps".

There were two groups of camp staff:

1. The camp staff proper, who were situated inside the camp and directly supervised the prisoners. They were divided into "camp leaders", who were in charge of the prisoners when they were in their barracks, and the "work leaders" who supervised them when at work outside the barracks, and even outside the camp.

2. The guard companies, who manned the watchtowers on the camp perimeter, and also provided guard detachments for groups of prisoners working outside the camp. The members of the guard companies rarely entered the camp itself, and did not usually have direct contact with the prisoners. By far the majority of all persons attached to concentration camps belonged to the guard companies.

The camp staff proper were all members of the pre-war Totenkopfverbaende or war-time recruits drawn from the Allgemeine SS, and tended remain posted to one camp or another throughout the war.

By contrast, members of the guard companies tended to be circulated through the camps, being transferred back and forth between front duty and camp guard duty, according to need. They could belong to any Waffen-SS unit. Quite often Waffen-SS men who had become unfit for frontline duty were transferred to the camp guard companies.

As the war progressed, the tendency was to transfer all young, fit members of the guard companies to the front and replace them with older men, quite often veterans of the First World War, and with the wounded. At the end of 1944, large numbers of Luftwaffe personnel were transferred to the Waffen-SS for camp guard duty.

The camp doctors were yet another category. They were not actually on the camp staff, but were seconded for duty there, being part of the SS medical corps under the Reichsarzt-SS, Dr Grawitz.

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Post by daredevil » 18 Oct 2003 14:36

on the book " auschwitz.nazi death camp " : in 1940,the staff at kz auschwitz had been recruited from among personnel at other concentration camps,mainly from dachau,buchenwald,and sachsenhausen.in the latter period,the number of staff members originating from frontline waffen-ss divisions,mainly leibstandarte and nord ,and from ss reserve commands steadily grew. gradually the percentage of volksdeutsche among the staff- from poland,romania,hungary,and croatia- increased as well .in 1944,soldiers from the wehrmacht and landschutz began flocking to the camp.after a brief period of training,they were given ss uniforms and assigned guard duties .[quote][/quote]

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Post by TH Albright » 19 Oct 2003 14:14

Michael is exactly correct in his assessment of guard units vs. "kommandant's staff". BTW..Most guard unit transfers at KL Auschwitz were to and from "Nord", with some also to and from "Wiking" and "Das Reich", not LSSAH; there is documentary evidence to this fact. In my own research of the SS officer corps who served in the camps, the LSSAH had one of the lowest rates of officer transfers to and from the camps. Regarding KL Auschwitz, whole companies were transferred to these frontline units in 1941-42, often via the Training and Replacement units of these divisions. (See "The Anatomy of Auschwitz Death Camp"). By 1944, most guard unit transfers were incoming, since the quality of existing guard unit personnel precluded their usefulness as frontline fodder. However, at this time, camp officer administration personnel were subject to transfer to the WSS or WSS Training and Replacement units as some of the outlying camps were closed down, like KL Vught and Amersfoort. Also, I have seen that the transfer of administrative officers from the camps to frontline W-SS units was fairly common, but statistically insignificant. Often the AO of a camp might end up the IVa of a WSS battalion or regiment or visa versa.

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